The Malta Independent 8 December 2021, Wednesday

PD condemns trading of public land resulting in 'big businesses making pots of gold'

Saturday, 29 July 2017, 12:53 Last update: about 5 years ago

Partit Demokratiku said today that public land is being traded in such a way that "our countrymen get a pittance while big businesses make pots of gold."

"Furthermore the people are asked to finance infrastructural support for such projects which far outway the financial benefit that comes their way."

Environmental, social, cultural and infrastructural impacts are invariably played down or ignored completely when such huge projects are undertaken, PD members said while addressing a press conference outside Smart City. 

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Partit Demokratiku argues that government should stop using public land for private speculation." This is also creating unfair competition for local developers."

"Good governance calls for transparent and accountable processes in Malta's land resource, where the interest of the people's coffers should come first." PD asks if the recently set up Lands Authority has delved into the matter.

The PD also called on the Planning Authority not to act as "the big bully on ERA" and asked government to, as the Ombudsman has already requested, grant veto powers to the ERA. "Malta's schizophrenic development frenzy may prove to be unsustainable, and may lead to an economic collapse."

Turning to Smart City, Recent news reports read that SmartCity Malta Ltd wants to almost double the height limitation at various points, and that certain changes concern residential and commercial zones, changes to the phasing of the development so that certain real estate development will precede other areas. On this point, the PD said: "It is imperative that environmental, social and transport impact assessments are resubmitted for this new Smart City project." 

"It is imperative that the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage safeguards the environment and architecture of Fort Ricasoli and St Rocco."

PD also called on the Auditor General to investigate the recent proceedings and check if there were breaches of the original contract so as to safeguard the interest of the Republic.

Partit Demokratiku reiterated that development planning in the country is taking place "according to the whims of select investors and developers, and not according to a properly studied and validated national master plan that ensures all round sustainable development."

 

 


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